Georgios Varouxakis
Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London
This article analyses the articulation of the relationship between ‘patriotism’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’ or commitment to ‘humanity’ in the writings of some major Victorian political thinkers. It is argued that: (a) there was no neat distinction between ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’ in the thought of the time; (b) ‘patriotism’ was seen as a stepping stone to universalistic commitment to ‘humanity’ rather than as opposed to or incompatible with the latter; (c) most thinkers avoided the term ‘cosmopolitanism’, because of some of its associations, and preferred to use love of ‘humanity’ or similar terms to refer to universalistic commitments; (d) all thinkers discussed here believed that some form of ‘patriotism’ was necessary, while all of them complained that the term was being misused by most of their contemporaries and inveighed against some misconceived and morally reprehensible version of ‘patriotism’; and (e) most discussions of patriotism and universalism were conducted in a religious or quasi-religious language. The main focus of this article is on John Stuart Mill (1806-73), Matthew Arnold (1822-88), Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), Thomas Hill Green (1836-82), Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900), Frederic Harrison (1831-1923) and, to a lesser extent, Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-72), John Robert Seeley (1834-95) and Charles Henry Pearson (1830-94)
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DOI 10.1177/1474885106059071
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